Celebrating Earth Day, we’ve decided to go “green” this week with our blog posts discussing things you can do to your house to be more energy-efficient and environmentally responsible.
This post is the second installment of this week’s “green-themed” posts. Our first post provided six simple things you could do to be more energy efficient around your home. Today, we’re going to look at some larger projects that you can do to do your part for the environment.
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Solar panels are probably going to be the most expensive upgrade to your home, but they will provide value for years to come. Today’s solar panels have gotten a lot more aesthetically pleasing and can conform to the design of most homes. Solar panels allow you to power your home during the day, and with an optional battery backup purchase, can power your home at night or during power outages as well.
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Replacing older appliances with new, energy-efficient models will reduce your carbon footprint as well as your utility bills. Refrigerators and laundry appliances are going to be the ones you should look at upgrading before anything else. Front-load washing machines are more efficient than top-load units.
Upgrade Your Heating and Air System
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If your heating and air conditioning system is more than ten years old, you may want to look into replacing them. Today’s systems are for more advanced and use a fraction of the resources they used to. Consequently, you’d realize significant savings on your utility bills while doing your part for the environment.
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With attic temperatures here in the Treasure Valley exceeding 165 degrees during the warm months, the heat can cause your air conditioning to work harder. During the colder winter months, moisture in the attic can lead to mold and fungus growth. You can combat both of these issues with Solar-powered attic fans. Solar-powered attic fans drive out trapped heat and moisture. As a result, your air conditioner works more efficiently, and you won’t have to worry about fungal growth in your attic, which can degrade your roof over time.
Whole House Fan
Whole-house fans pull fresh air into the home through open windows and flush the hot air out via attic vents or your newly installed attic fan. The whole house fan can reduce room temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees, which can lower the reliance on an air conditioner.
Window tinting using a unique adhesive film can increase the efficiency of windows by as much as 25 percent. Window tinting is a less expensive alternative to replacing inefficient windows.
Solar Tube Lighting and Skylights
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Adding solar tubes or skylights to your home helps provide more natural light while reducing the necessity for using electrical lights during the day. Placing the skylights or solar tubes strategically provides abundant light to otherwise dark rooms. While traditional electrical lights, especially those with LED bulbs, have gotten more energy efficient, there’s still the opportunity for cost savings and resource consumption reduction by using the green alternatives.
The Last Word
As you’ve read, there are lots of things you can do to make your home more “green,” which can help you reduce your reliance on natural resources and save you money on your utility bills. Sometimes, with some of the larger projects, tax incentives and rebates are available from the government or local utilities. Be sure to check with them directly to see what options are available to reduce your expenses.